No More Wasted Breaths

By Paul Thomas

As I was walking down a path the other day, looking at the dirt, rocks, bugs, my shadow and everything else…I suddenly noticed that my mind wasn’t wildly active as usual.

I wasn’t in my head thinking, worrying, anticipating, wondering, lamenting, regretting or planning—I was just walking along observing things as they were—right where I was.

There was an unusual quietness in my mind. No thoughts—okay, maybe a few–but for the most part—I was just observing what was unfolding around me as I moved my body a step at a time down the path and it was, I might say, wonderfully peaceful.

The gray matter sitting atop my shoulders had miraculously taken a break from blabbering its trivialities at me leaving an extraordinarily sweet quietness to enjoy. Colors were vivid, sounds were sharper and far more audible, movements were harmonious, I was less dense in a sense—my form felt lighter and kind of detached from the constant struggle with gravity, and I could actually feel each breath moving in and out of my body effortlessly…thankfully.

I also felt an energy buzzing through me like I was connected to some kind of electrical current. My ears were ringing an unusual hum and I was noticing that my senses were greatly heightened too.

I was no longer standing apart as a self-identified-ego with its tonnage of stored, mostly useless collection of life junk… rather, I felt fittingly, nakedly one with everything. Me, myself and I was not so important as my ego had tricked me to believe yet vitally important in a truer sense—as an integral, eternal part of everything—as we all are. I felt liberated from thought and identity and truly free without any attachments—just me walking on a path and that was plenty good enough. In fact it was perfect.

Now, at the same time all this was happening—my mind (the tireless pest that it is) kept desperately knocking on the door of my peacefulness beckoning to let it in so it could catch me up on all the important shit I was missing and needed to attend to. (oooh, important!) And though it was tempting to honor it as I always had before–this time I didn’t.

I wanted to see what it was like to be without all that noisy, distracting, non-serving stuff my mind had fed me my whole life. What was this super peaceful place and where would it lead if I stayed there? And could I stay there—was I even allowed to?

As I held on to the stillness and kept walking…I began to see the briefness too. Being outside of the minds distractions and weird entertainments I was brought into the awareness of just how short this trip here really is for all of us. Just how precious and important each and every moment truly is for each and every living thing.

It became apparent too, almost painfully so, that each breath I took was one breath less in my life—one breath closer to never taking another. How many of my prior breaths had I taken for granted? FAR TOO MANY!

Thank you precious air that fills our lungs with oxygen—life itself. Forgive us for selfishly assuming you’ll just always be there for our next breath. Forgive us too for polluting you around the earth—you’ve never deserved that.

I realized too how much I had taken for granted over my lifetime. How many breaths I had wasted along the way that I wish I could have back. Breaths I wasted on things I realize were not in my best interest, not my highest excitement. Breaths I wasted on worrying, being anxious or upset, pissed off, self-conscious or self-loathing, breaths being afraid of failing, breaths trying to be something, to show off, be important or prove something to others–breaths talking shit about others.

And so many breaths wasted living in the past in my mind instead of just breathing in the stillness—each and every amazing now as it unfolded right there with each step. I wish I could have those back to redo…to re-breathe with appreciation, respect and love for just…BEING ALIVE EACH AND EVERY MOMENT!

We all have just so many breaths left in our lives. And none of us know how many. They will cease at some point and we will fade away from this life forever as we know it. We will become merely a memory in some people’s minds and when those memories are gone that will be gone too. Everything we think is important will lose its meaning entirely for the meaning it had was the meaning only we gave it. Let’s not waste any more breaths…STARTING RIGHT NOW.

Let’s allow each and every precious breath to present their treasures of aliveness to us. Let’s especially not waste any on the past. It doesn’t really exist anyway. In fact, let’s not waste any breaths on anything that doesn’t serve us for our highest good—that doesn’t make us feel good and happy. It’s okay and healthy to say ‘no thank you’ often to those breath-wasters.

Let’s accept all that is in life and not resist or judge the shitty stuff—who are we to judge anyway—but instead focus our attention on everything that excites us—everything that gives us joy, creates enthusiasm and nourishes our energy with positivity and vibrancy. This is our birthright or better yet—our breathright. It’s a simple choice that’s ours to make always—every waking moment we still have life flowing through us.

Feel your breath right now. It means you’re alive. Keep feeling it—that aliveness. Put your phone down, turn off the TV, radio, computer and most importantly…TURN OFF YOUR MIND CHATTER.

Listen instead to your beautiful, amazing, ever so precious breath. Hear what it has to say to you–what it has to teach you—show you. It is the doorway through which we can see our life as it is supposed to be in all its incredibleness.

Let’s GO OUT OF OUR MINDS and tune in to the beauty of our each and every magnificent breath—to the aliveness of the ever changing magical moment of the constantly unfolding now and live from that peaceful place of true calm, true health and true overall wellness.

Here’s to your beautiful breaths going forward. I love you whoever you are reading this—we breathe the same beautiful air—each and every breath of our magnificent lives.